August 10, 2022


Bird flu confirmed in backyard poultry in Flathead County, Montana, US



State livestock officials in Montana, the United States, have confirmed detections of bird flu in a backyard poultry flock in Flathead County, providing the latest evidence that this year's wave of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continues to spread across the country.


On July 24, the Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) announced a positive detection of HPAI at a Flathead County residence, marking the 10th HPAI affected Montana flock linked to this year's wave of US infections, which have been traced to seasonal migrations of wild birds. Nationally, nearly 400 poultry flocks have been diagnosed with HPAI this year.


"With over two months since our last case of HPAI in the state, we had hoped that avian influenza was behind us," Montana state veterinarian Marty Zaluski said in a prepared statement. "Unfortunately, the risk seems to persist, and poultry owners should continue to practice enhanced biosecurity measures."


The primary complaint noticed for all of Montana's HPAI affected flocks has been the sudden and significant death of domestic poultry and waterfowl, Zaluski stated. A pond on or near the HPAI affected flock has been a common feature, he added.


Samples from affected flocks are submitted to the Montana Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MVDL) and tested for the presence of avian influenza.


The department encouraged all poultry producers to immediately report sudden onset of illness or a high rate of mortality in domestic poultry to their veterinarian.


MDOL is conducting an epidemiological investigation and will identify other poultry producers in the area to conduct disease surveillance and to provide educational resources, according to the agency.


- Flathead Beacon

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